By Dave Hunter
Guitarists love amps—really love them. Amplifiers could glance uninteresting to the remainder of the realm, yet to guitarists they're filled with mystique, romance, and rockin' sound. And whereas there are lots of strong-selling electrical guitar histories to be had, here's the 1st illustrated historical past of the electrical guitar’s ally, the amp. World-famous guitar and amp historian Dave Hunter tells the tale of 60 of the best amps ever outfitted, together with classics from Fender, Marshall, Vox, the weird EchoSonic that created Elvis' sound, and the final word esoteric $75,000+ Dumble amps. the tale is illustrated with enormous quantities of technical pictures, infrequent machines, catalogs, memorabilia, and the amps of the celebrities, from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Eric Clapton. This is a ebook guitarists will drool over.
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Extra info for Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers
To achieve said vastness, the 280 routes its preamp to a stereo vibrato circuit that feeds two entirely independent output stages consisting of two pairs of 6973 output tubes hitched to two output transformers. We see these 6973s mainly in Valco-made amplifiers—the Supro Model 24 and Gretsch 6156 Playboy among them—and they can be great-sounding tubes. Partnered with rather small OTs for the task, however, they figure as part of what many players object to in the Magnatone design: for their size, weight, and swirly potential, these amps come off as a little underpowered.
An illustrious history for one small brown combo, but the EchoSonic’s lineage takes us even deeper into the beating heart of rock ’n’ roll. Even before the first EchoSonic was born on Butts’ workbench, slapback echo was a key element of the rock ’n’ roll sound—and the early 1950s guitar sound in general—but prior to the creation of this amp, the sound was produced as a studio effect, and one not easily transported to the performance stage. Butts, who owned a music store and repair shop in Cairo, Illinois, built the first EchoSonic amp for a local named Bill Gwaltney, who wanted to replicate Les Paul’s slapback sound in live performance.
In July of 1955, this most famous of EchoSonics hit the studio with Moore, Elvis, and company, where it was used on the groundbreaking recording of “Mystery Train,” among others. The EchoSonic continued to be used on every recording Moore made with Presley, up to and including the legendary 1968 Comeback Special on NBC TV (originally entitled Elvis, Starring Elvis Presley). There it can be heard and can occasionally be seen behind Moore’s right leg during the seated, in-the-round performances. Like some tube-fired chain reaction worthy of the Old Testament, Moore’s purchase and prolific use of his EchoSonic—serial number 8 (though often reported as being the third one built)—continued to send waves of desire for the new sound rippling through the Nashville scene.
Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers by Dave Hunter